Imagens das páginas

had been alive at this hour; and your son here at home, more advanced by the king, than by that red-tailed humble-bee I speak of.

sion-Whose villainous saffron would have made all the unbaked and doughy youths of a nation in his colour ; i. e. of his temper and disposition. Here the general custom of that time, of colouring paste with saffron, is alluded to. So, in The Winter's Tale : “ I must have saffron to colour the warden pyes."

WARBURTON. This play was probably written several years before the death of Sir Thomas Överbury. The plain meaning of the passage seems to be: “ Whose evil qualities are of so deep a dye, as to be sufficient to corrupt the most innocent, and to render them of the same disposition with himself.” Malone.

Stubbs, in his Anatomie of Abuses, published in 1595, speaks of starch of various colours :

The one arch or piller wherewith the devil's kingdome of great ruffes is underpropped, is a certain kind of liquid matter which they call startch, wherein the devill hath learned them to wash and die their ruffes, which, being drie, will stand stiff and inflexible about their neckes. And this startch they make of divers substances, sometimes of wheate flower, of branne, and other graines: sometimes of rootes, and sometimes of other thinges: of all collours and hues, as white, redde, blewe, purple, and the like."

In The World toss'd at Tennis, a masque by Middleton, the five starches are personified, and introduced contesting for superiority. Again, in Albumazar, 1615: “What price bears wheat and saffron, that your band's

so stiff and yellow?" Again, in Heywood's If you know not me, you know nobody, 1606: 66

- have taken an order to wear yellow garters, points, and shoe-tyings, and 'tis thought yellow will grow a custom.”

" It has been long used at London.”

It may be added, that in the year 1446, a parliament was held at Trim, in Ireland, by which the natives were directed, among other things, not to wear shirts stained with saffron.

STEEVENS. See a note on Albumazar, Dodsley's Collection of old Plays, Vol. VII. p. 156, edit. 1780. Reed.

COUNT. I would, I had not known him!" it was the death of the most virtuous gentlewoman, that ever nature had praise for creating : if she had par. taken of my flesh, and cost me the dearest groans of a mother, I could not have owed her a more rooted love.

LAF. 'Twas a good lady, 'twas a good lady: we may pick a thousand salads, ere we light on such another herb.

Clo. Indeed, sir, she was the sweet-marjoram of the salad, or, rather the herb of grace.”

LAF. They are not salad-herbs, you knave, they are nose-herbs.

Clo. I am no great Nebuchadnezzar, sir, I have not much skill in grass.

LAF. Whether dost thou profess thyself; a knave, or a fool?

Clo. A fool, sir, at a woman's service, and a knave at a man's.

LAF. Your distinction ?

Clo, I would cozen the man of his wife, and do his service.

* I would, I had not known him!] This dialogue serves to connect the incidents of Parolles with the main plan of the play.

JOHNSON. I should wish to read he had not known him, meaning that her son had not. Her knowing Parolles was of little consequence, but Bertram's knowing him caused the death of Helen, which she deplores. M. Mason.

herb of grace.) i. e. rue. So, in Hamlet : “ there's rue for you—we may call it herb of grace o' Sundays."

STEEVENS. in grass.] The old copy, by an evident error of the press, reads--grace. The correction was made by Mr. Rowe. The word salad, in the preceding speech, was also supplied by him. MALONE.

[ocr errors]

LAF. So you were a knave at his service, indeed.

Clo. And I would give his wife my bauble, sir, to do her service."

LAF. I will subscribe for thee; thou art both knave and fool.

Clo. At your service.
LAF. No, no, no.



I would give his wife my bauble, sir, to do her service.] Part of the furniture of a fool was a bauble, which, though it be generally taken to signify any thing of small value, has a precise and determinable meaning. It is, in short, a kind of truncheon with a head carved on it, which the

fool anciently carried in his hand. There is a representation of it in a picture of Watteau, formerly in the collection of Dr. Mead, which is engraved by Baron, and called Comediens Italiens. Á faint resemblance of it may be found in the frontispiece of L. de Guernier to King Lear, in Mr. Pope's edition in duodecimo.

Sir J. HAWKINS. So, in Marston's Dutch Courtesan, 1604:

if a fool, we must bear his bauble." Again, in The Two angry Women of Abingdon, 1599 : “ The fool will not leave his bauble for the Tower of London." Again, in Jack Drum's Entertainment, 1601 :

“ She is enamoured of the fool's bauble." In the STULTIFERA Navis, 1497, are several representations of this instrument, as well as in Cocke's Lorel's Bote, printed by Wynkyn de Worde. Again, in Lyte's Herbal : « In the hollowness of the said flower (the great blue wolfe's-bane) grow two small crooked hayres, somewhat great at the end, fashioned like a fool's bable.An ancient proverb, in Ray's Collection, points out the materials of which these baubles were made : “ If every fool should wear a bable, fewel would be dear.” See figure 12, in the plate at the end of The First Part of King Henry IV. with Mr. Tollet's explanation. STEEVENS.

The world bauble is here used in two senses. The Clown had another bauble besides that which the editor alludes to.

M. Mason. When Cromwell, 1653, forcibly turned out the rump-parliament, he bid the soldiers, “ take away that fool's bauble," pointing to the speaker's mace. BLACKSTONE.

[ocr errors]

Clo. Why, sir, if I cannot serve you, I can serve as great a prince as you are.

LAF. Who's that? a Frenchman?

Czo. Faith, sir, he has an English name;' but his phisnomy is more hotter in France, than there.”

LAF. What prince is that?

Clo. The black prince," sir, alias, the prince of darkness ; alias, the devil.

LAF. Hold thee, there's my purse: I give thee not this to suggest thee from thy master” thou talkest of; serve him still.

Clo. I am a woodland fellow, sir, that always


an English name ;] The old copy reads maine.

STEEVENS. Corrected by Mr. Rowe. MALONE. Maine, or head of hair, agrees better with the context than

His hair was thick. HENLEY.

-his phisnomy is more hotter in France, than there.] This is intolerable nonsense. The stupid editors, because the devil was talked of, thought no quality would suit him but hotter. We should read more honourd. A joke upon the French people, as if they held a dark complexion, which is natural to them, in more estimation than the English do, who are generally white and fair. WARBURTON. The allusion is, in all probability, to the Morbus Gallicus.

STEEVENS. · The black prince,] Bishop Hall, in his Satires, B. V. Sat. ii. has given the same name to Pluto: “ So the black prince is broken loose again,” &c. Holt WHIȚE.

—to suggest thee from thy master ---) Thus the old copy. The modern editors read-seduce, but without authority. To suggest had anciently the same meaning. So, in the Two Gentlemen of Verona :

“ Knowing that tender youth is soon suggested,
« I nightly lodge her in an upper tower.'



loved a great fire; and the master I speak of, ever keeps a good fire. But, sure, he is the prince of the world," let his nobility remain in his court. I am for the house with the narrow gate, which I take to be too little for pomp to enter : some, that humble themselves, may; but the many will be too chill and tender; and they'll be for the flowery way, that leads to the broad gate, and the great fire.'

LAF. Go thy ways, I begin to be a-weary of thee; and I tell thee so before, because I would not fall out with thee. Go thy ways; let my horses be well looked to, without any

tricks. Cro. If I put any tricks upon 'em, sir, they shall be jades tricks; which are their own right by the law of nature,


. LAF. A shrewd knave, and an unhappy.

Count. So he is. My lord, that's gone, made himself much sport out of him: by his authority he remains here, which he thinks is a patent for his sauciness; and, indeed, he has no pace, but runs where he will."

[ocr errors]


* I am a woodland fellow, sir, &c.] Shakspeare is but rarely guilty of such impious trash. And it is observable, that then he always puts that into the mouth of his fools, which is now grown the characteristic of the fine gentleman. WARBURTON.

But, sure, he is the prince of the world,] I think we should *read-But since he is, &c. and thus Sir T. Hanmer.

STEEVENS. the flowery way, and the great fire.] The same impious stuff occurs again in Macbeth :

the primrose way to the everlasting bonfire.STEEVENS. • unhappy.) i. e. mischievously waggish, unlucky.

JOHNSON So, in King Henry VIII:

“ You are a churchman, or, I'll tell you, cardinal,
“ I should judge now unhappily." ŠTEEVENS.


« AnteriorContinuar »